The Better Why

In this fast-changing world, nothing is changing faster than ourselves – both as customers, and as brands.

For insights leaders and customer activists this presents a moment of accelerated change and opportunity.

Are we ready?

Welcome to The Better Why.

In 2020 customers have fundamentally reappraised themselves, demanding that the companies that serve them follow suit. We wanted to explore how this shift has created a moment of opportunity for insights.

We interviewed more than 100 insight leaders and customer activists from global brands including MARS, Walmart, McDonalds, Bose, GE, General Mills, Salesforce, Converse, Bacardi, Estée Lauder, Uber and more to explore this moment of accelerated change in business.

What we heard is that the wider context in which insights operates has been changing for some time, but, while progress had begun to lag, COVID-19 has catalysed this change to an almost unimaginable rate.

And as customers re-examine every aspect of their selves, the most relevant businesses are doing the same – at an astonishing rate – providing opportunities and challenges for insights.

The result of this research is The Better Why Report and Conference.

We asked 400 insights,

brand and marketing professionals to tell us which issues are at the top of their agenda in 2020. Their answers indicate that a fundamental shift is happening across the industry and more broadly within business.


Most interested in how to create cut-through and drive strategic decisions


Most interested in how to define what better business looks like


Most interested in how to embed into the business to drive timeliness


Most interested in how to effectively democratize insight to prioritize strategic work

The Better Why Report

Hear from over 100 insights leaders on how to grasp the opportunity of this inflection point.

With recommendations for success, this report will leave you with inspiration about how to:

  • Structure the strategic and the tactical
  • Work more effectively with agency partners
  • Design your projects with purpose and at speed
  • Translate customer needs into business imperatives


The Better Why Conference

SEPTEMBER 24, 2020


KEYNOTE: Change, choice and the battle to stay relevant

C Space president, Jessica DeVlieger, identity theorist and Wharton Professor Americus Reed II and The Marketoonist go head-to-head on the opportunity that deep customer understanding presents and why, as professionals, we sometimes still struggle to hit the mark.

Americus Reed II

Professor of Marketing, Wharton University of Pennsylvania

Tom Fishburne

Founder, CEO, Marketoonist

Jessica DeVlieger

President, Americas, C Space


The Data Conundrum

As different forms of data proliferate across the business (and are more accessible than ever), every department has an answer to ‘the customer’ – and yet, the customer sees the organization as one company, one experience. In this session, insights leaders share some of the innovative ways they are creating a shared understanding of the customer, across the organization.

Laura Jones

Global Head of Product Marketing and Customer Engagement, Uber

Gabriela McCoy

Director, North America Strategic Insights and Analytics, Barcardi

Justine Karmin Lai

Director, Data & Analytics,
C Space

Tom Fishburne

Founder, CEO, Marketoonist


Democratize to Prioritize

The customer is now increasingly seen as a part of everyone’s job, which can be both empowering and worrying to an insights function. Hear where your peers have had success in bringing customers into the organization in unique and meaningful ways, how you can ensure the integrity of insights that are created when more people have access to tools and customers. We discover how democratizing the job of “insights” can free up insights leaders to do the work that is the most impactful.

Jody Ayers

Senior Director, Customer Journeys, Walmart

Estrella Lopez-Brea

Head of Insights for Snacks, Ice-Cream and Compete, General Mills

Renae Geraci

Senior Manager, Research & Operations, Design and Creation Products Group, Autodesk

Samantha Rothkopf

Chief Development Officer, C Space


Timing is Everything

The timeline on critical business decisions continues to accelerate. Decisions need to be made in hours not weeks, and if you have no input to give, decisions get made with the customer (and without the insights function). Join this discussion where we dig into how insights leaders are effectively positioning themselves as strategic partners to the business and ensuring the customer is a part of the most critical decisions.

Jami Guthrie

Vice President, Consumer Insights, McDonald’s

Whitney Dunlap-Fowler

Founder, Insights in Colour

Laurie Krause

EVP, Insights and Analytics, Wells Fargo

Jessica DeVlieger

President, Americas, C Space


Defining What Better Business Means

Individual consumers have more power than ever, and they will no longer put up with companies that don’t share their values. Insights is uniquely positioned to drive an agenda that defines success for business as inclusive of, but more than top line growth. Join this discussion to hear stories of how your peers have been bold and led the way in the fight for inclusion and diversity in insights and more broadly in business.

Colleen Funkey

Executive Director, Consumer Insights, Estee Lauder

Joanne Pearson

Director, Global Customer Insights, Jaguar Land Rover

Neha Viswanathan

Associate Director, C Space

Americus Reed II

Professor of Marketing, Wharton University of Pennsylvania